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Chuck Schumer 6, Us 5, Hagel 5, John Boehner 5, Mitch Mcconnell 5, Boehner 4, Campbell 4, John Kerry 4, Idaho 3, Boston 3, Joe 3, Harry Reid 3, Kay Bailey Hutchison 3, Phillips 3, Tim Scott 3, Obama 3, Wayne La Pierre 3, Israel 2, New York 2, Hawaii 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    December 24, 2012
    10:00 - 10:59am PST  

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maybe eight days and counting before a fiscal cliff. will a shift too the senate save the day? then paradise lost. will president obama leave hawaii behind the day after christmas if a deal is in the works and the election hangover.
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new comments from one of mitt romney's sons that you might describe as puzzling. what do they really mean? and the gun battle rages on. new reports on why nothing may get done even after the sandy hook tragedy. a massive tax hike and spending cuts -- republicans and democrats continue to point fingers in opposite directions, hinting that talks could go into the new year. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are, and i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would welcome john to tell me. he says he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial
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service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously they always say the white house travels with the president wherever he is. that's where the white house is. the president, though, is enjoying vacation, but still continuing to keep tabs on the fiscal cliff negotiations, correct? >> he is. white house officials describe this as a working vacation. i think there have been maybe a few conversations at the staff level about the fiscal cliff, but the reality is, thomas, the negotiations have largely stalled. you remember president obama on friday urging lawmakers to take this time off to really cool off, come back later this week with a appreciate perspective. i think you're going to see the hard work, the real negotiations resume when lawmakers go back into session after the christmas holiday. now, last week it seemed as though president obama, house speaker john boehner were close to getting some sort of a grand bargain that would have addressed tax reform as well as deficit reduction. those talks, of course, fell
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apart. house speaker john boehner tried to get an alternative plan through the house. that didn't work out. now the focus shifts to the senate. senate majority leader harry reid, minority leader mitch mcconnell will have to try to hammer out some sort of a compromise to avoid going over the cliff, but as you pointed out in your introduction, a lot of senators over the weekend expressed concern that, in fact, we will go over the fiscal cliff. of course, if is that happens, the economy could eventually slip back into recession. one interesting point, thomas, though, last time that members of congress worked between christmas and new year's was 1996. that was during the government shutdown. this is really a rare occurrence for members of congress to have to come back and work out legislation that they went able to get done before the christmas holiday. >> the president is supposed to stay there for how long? >> well, of course, the white house not really giving us specifics about the president's travel plans at this point in time. the reality is i think the president is himself trying to figure out what he is going to
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do, but we do expect that he will cut his vacation short. you've heard the president himself during his press conference on friday say i will be seeing you all next week. i think that it is very likely that we will see president obama back in d.c. later on this week and also taking part in those negotiations. >> last but not least, do you have on flip-flops? >> no, not yet. >> i'm looking at wi kiki behind you, and i'm jealous. i have to say i think anybody that's seeing this all right now, we are all jealous. >> it is beautiful here. it's a great assignment. >> i know. happy holidays. thanks, kristen. with the fight over the fiscal deal, at least one prominent senator says he is not hopeful there will be an agreement at all. >> in the aftermath of house republicans rejecting speaker boehner's so-called plan b, it's the first time that i feel that it's more likely that we will go
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over the cliff than not. >> with me now is chief political correspondent for -- and david knock murrah, white house reporter for the washington post. great to have you here. steve, i want to start with you because you just heard senator lieberman say that he thinks it's more likely that we're all going to be going over this cliff than not. is that the sense that you have been getting from lawmakers as well? >> absolutely. first of all, i just checked about 20 minutes ago. there are no talks going on today. the senate comes back on the 27th. there's a lot of stock being put many the fact that maybe mitch mcconnell and harry reid can cut a deal, but mitch mcconnell, though by his nature, is a dealmaker, feels a lot of these same kind of tea party pressures at home that a lot of members of the house feel. he has a potential primary challenge of 2014. the tea party is very strong in kentucky. that's ran paul country. he is very mindful of that. i don't think he is in a position right now to cut any
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kind of deal that would invite a problem for himself at home. >> all right. when we hear senator john barosso saying he thinks the president is eager to go over the cliff because it's going to get some some type of political victory, does anybody inside the white house really feel that way that this is, in general, a political victory for the president or democrats in general? >> i do think that people in the white house -- the president's advisors and even the president think they have the upper hand, thomas. polls show that generally speaking, if we do go over the cliff most folks will sort of blame republicans. i think the white house is using that as their lerchlg. i think also, though, when you hear the politicians are saying that the president iseering to go over the cliff, some of that is posturing to maybe put some of the blame back on him. this is something that if the economy starts to suffer on this, people are going to look to blaming each other. i think that it's likely, though, that there will be plenty of blame to go around. >> all right. we are starting to hear some republicans say that they would vote for a tax hike. we've heard this for a while now, but i want to take a eleven
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to what republican senator johnny isaacson of georgia had to say. >> i felt like the house should have gone ahead and passed speaker boehner's bill because it addressed the subject, and we would still be in negotiations, and the president's statement is right. no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on anybody, but i'm not in the majority in the united states senate. >> senator isakkson saying that he wishes that plan b had moved forward. however, that didn't get liftoff on the ground to come to the floor for a vote. how open to compromise would senate republicans be at this point if it does have to fall that way to harry reid and mitch mcconnell? >> well, a lot of the senate republican caucus is open to voting for some kind of package. they know they have no bargaining strength in this coming week. they have a little more bargaining position after the first of the year because then the debt ceiling comes in. that's a whole other ballgame. right now a lot of the senators, particularly a little more senators being pragmatic and are more inclined cut a deal.
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first of all, their leader, mitch mcconnell, has to cut the deal, and also they know as senator isakkson said, they can't get it through the house. >> david, the washington post is reporting, though, that the tea party in all of this is basically staying on the sidelines saying that members still call and e-mail congress, but have held no rallies. they've done little lobbying. even that -- is it so surprising that john boehner is having so much trouble wrangling republicans in the house, and is this more of a payback scenario almost for people that were on fiscal committees that were purged from those committees like the congressman -- camp and the like that are just trying to make john boehner look bad? >> boehner was trying to keep control of his caucus this time, and he did make some moves. he said it wasn't necessarily tied to the talks here, but that he wanted to keep control of the members. i think, though, that the tea party -- you know, the tea party suffered losses in this election. i think there's a general feeling around the country that, you know, they want people to
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come to the bargaining table, and this is a team, so maybe they don't want to be out there in the forefront making noise, but i think it's understood for their members, though that draw support from the tea party what their position is. it's very clear those two who really rely on tea party support and have those beliefs won't vote for a tax increase. i think it is looking more likely that we're going to be a year. we talk about actually represented grover norquist whochs the guru had given it a thumbs up, and yet, still because he gave it a stamp of approval it does not pass the smell test for certain republicans because they say, well, this is a tax hike, and we can't have any new tax hikes whatsoever. >> well, clearly, i mean, john boehner calculated. it turned out to be wrong, and a lot of people thought it was right that the senate and the house would all go for a tax increase on income over $1 million as a fallback. knowing that all taxes go up in seven more days anyway. the fact that grover norquist
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was willing to negotiate on that, he recognized that they had no bargaining strength here. they might as well take what they can get. didn't matter. there are just enough members in the house caucus who are afraid of those primaries coming up in two years, and they're just not going to put their stamp of approval on a single tax increase even if it's for less than one-half of 1% of the people. >> steve ttoma and -- thank you so much. i appreciate your time. >> thanks. >> now to the other big drama developing this week on capitol hill. lawmakers from both parties are signalling their willingness to tighten gun laws after the newtown massacre, but any change in gun policy will face some very tough opposition from the nation's largest gun lobby, which yesterday doubled down on its call to arm our nation's schools. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security at our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. i'll tell you what the american people -- i think the american people think it's crazy not to
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do it. it's the one thing that would keep people safe. >> let's bring in justice correspondent pete williams. pete, the nra not budging on its message from the press briefing that it gave on friday to the appearance on "meet the press" yesterday. their point is that the best issue for the gun control problem is not more regulation, but to have armed officers, trained armed people manning our schools. if past is prologue, where is the nra's next move going forward? >> well, you know, i think that's a good question because past may not be prologue here. the past was that the obama administration saw absolutely no chance of getting this flew congress. president obama when he campaigned for his first term, said he would like to look at reveezing the assault weapons ban. the white house sent some gentle signal early on they might try to do that, and it was instantly clear that they backed away from it. the mere prospect of president
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obama's being elected caused a huge run on ammunition, police departments were almost running out of it. now many democrats think the situation is different because of newtown and the other mass shootings this year, so i guess we're going to find out whether past is prologue. things have -- things may have changed. we're going to have to see how much they have. >> senators kay bailey hutchison and mark warren yesterday segment nauling their willing tons talk about this, and most likely the conversation leading itself to do something about high magazine clips and what is defined as an assault weapon. is the climate right for a modernized assault weapons ban to pass through congress? especially if vice president joe biden and this inter-agency task force with muster enough support for it? >> it may be that there's more interest in a high capacity magazine ban. now, of course, it's interesting to hear a republican like kay bailey hutchison saying she's willing to look at that time. of course, she's leaving the senate.
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we haven't heard a lot of talk about high capacity megazeenz from other republicans who will be around. so, you know, the two things, that may have more prospect of passing. the trick with the assault weapons ban is going to be this. there was one ten years ago. there's no agreement on whether it was effective or not. the advocates say it was. some studies say it's hard to describe whether there's any decrease in crime. the other thing is the term assault weapons, of course, is arbitrary. what the advocates of voelz of restrictions say is that any weapon, any semiautomatic rifle that has a military style design and a detachable magazine and certain other features should be classed as an assault weapons ban and restricted. the trick is how do you do that without leaving it open for what happened the last time, which is for manufacturers to redesign their weapons and get them back on the market. that's a real challenge for senator feinstein and the others looking at this, but there's no doubt about it, thomas. the atmosphere does seem to be different. whether it's different enough to get it passed, we're going to
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have to find out. >> nbc news justice correspondent pete williams. pete, thank you. i appreciate it. coming up, the gunman opening fire on a group of firefighters working to put out that massive fire. plus, no desire to be president. one of mitt romney's sons said his father never really wanted that job. in fact, less than anyone he has met in his life. by the barrelf? the carful? how about...by the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. c'mon, michael! get in the game! [ male announcer ] don't have the hops for hoops with your buddies? lost your appetite for romance? and your mood is on its way down. you might not just be getting older. you might have a treatable condition called low testosterone or low t. millions of men, forty-five or older, may have low t. so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at isitlowt.com. [ laughs ] hey!
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>> look, on taxes i know it's hard for the republicans, but the president ran on that platform. $250,000, no tax increases people below, but taxes for people above. >> tax rate hikes are a partisan solution driven by the president, but he is going to get tax rate hikes. to my republican colleagues, if we can protect 99% of the american public from a tax hike, that is not a tax increase in my book.
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>> so close and yet still so far. democrat senator chuck schumer and republican senator lindsey grap striking similar notes on taxes, but time is running out. there's still no real deal in sight. joining me now is congresswoman karen bass, democrat from california. congresswoman, it's great to have you here, and as we're hearing about what's taking place in washington or what was taking place before everybody closed up shop to go home for the holidays, we're hearing that more republicans are calling for compromise on the tax issue. however, nearly 200 house republicans appeared to set back speaker boehner's plan b. at this point is there hope that even a small deal will get done before the new year? >> well, i certainly hope there is, but, you know, we left -- when you said some republicans are calling for it, you are talking about republicans in the senate. not in the house, unfortunately. i do think that if the senate acts just like they have to act last year over the payroll tax hike, that maybe there will be some movement in the house. it's a shame to say, though, that the house just sent the
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ball over to the senate. >> let me just tell you, i hope they're talking today. at this point in time, yes, i do think that's what it means. i think that, unfortunately, the speaker abduct ate the the leadership over to the senate, and i am hoping, though, that. >> i am hoping that the democrats are willing to go ahead and vote for what is already in their house. >> in part for you specifically, where do you draw the line on the compromise for the end of the bush era tax cuts? >> i think that the president should stick with his original proposal, which was $250,000. >> are you disappointed that he came back to raise that bar to $400,000? >> i wasn't disappointed.
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i did realize that there would have to be some compromise. you asked where i would draw the line? what i don't believe what i should do right now is to say if it happens like this and dwz over $1 more, i won't vote for it. i don't think that's a good stand to take right now. i think we need to see what deal comes forward. >> nbc news political director chuck tood said that the white house needs to press just a little bit harder for the deal for the new year. take a listen. >> okay. >> i think politically the president is making a mistake to go for a small deal. he will lose leverage as the year goes on. he will get a big political victory, but he should try one more time for the big deal. >> they seem to have had it, and they don't want to try it one
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more time, but i it they're making a big mistake. >> what about the window of opportunity here and the fact that the president needs to push for something a little bit bigger when leverage is on his side on the front end? >> well, i definitely hope that he can and will continue to push for as big a deal as possible. we're just a few days away. so i do believe that he has all the leverage right now, but we do have to be back in session. like i said, i'm hoping that we'll be back in session before this week is over and that we will be able to come to a deal. i know in terms of politics four or five days is a lifetime, so i do believe it can be done, but you do have to have the will there, and i'm hoping that the republicans in the house will break with their dogmatism that it has to be their way or the highway. >> are these proving to be completely unusable when it comes to the fact that -- we've set up these ditches for ourselves, basically, sec quest
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rags and the tax hikes to say we'll never have to worry about these terrible punishments, these terrible condefenses because we'll never let it get that far. now here we are. we're about to have all these terrible consequences go into effect. is it smart to have these built in any way? >> well, i think it's sad that we have to have it built in. i do think it was necessary. i mean, for example, if we didn't do this and if we hadn't put defense cuts also on the table and if everything was on discretionary, for example, i don't think we would have gotten anywhere. i don't think the republicans would have even come to the table and would have even ever considered taxes, but i think the reason why they are is because of the defense cuts. it's not that the republicans are opposed to spending. they have no problem spending. it just depends on what we're talking about. if it's spending for defense, they have no problem with that. >> congresswoman, thanks for joining me today. happy holidays to you and to yours. >> thank you. merry christmas to you as well, and congratulations again. >> thank you so much. i appreciate that. so a not so merry christmas
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for senator mike. a republican from idaho arrested for dui early this morning, and it is the day before christmas. we all know that. it seems more like black friday in certain malls. we're going to tell you about those deals across the country. [ male announcer ] you've reached the age where you don't back down from a challenge. this is the age of knowing how to make things happen. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask your doctor if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain; it may cause an unsafe drop in blood pressure. side effects include headache, flushing, upset stomach, and abnormal vision. to avoid long-term injury, seek immediate medical help for an erection lasting more than four hours. stop taking viagra and call your doctor right away if you experience a sudden decrease or loss in vision or hearing. this is the age of taking action. viagra. talk to your doctor.
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senator -- a republican from idaho was pulled over early this morning in alexandria, virginia, after running a red light, and he released a statement saying, i am deeply sorry for the actions that resulted in this circumstance. i made a mistake, for which i apologized to my family, my idaho constituents and any others who have been put -- who have put their trust in me. i accept total responsibility and will deal with whatever penalty comes any way in this matter. i will also undertake measures to insure this circumstance is never preetd." crappo's blood alcohol was he was scheduled to be in court on january the 4th. sxwlirchlgts frrmer president
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george w. bush might be spending christmas in the hospital. doctors say he needs to build up his energy before he can leave. the 41st president was admitted to the hospital late last month with a bronchitis-like cough. the number is surprising. 17 million americans scrambling to get to the mall for some truly last minute shopping on christmas eve. as it turns out, retailers lot of the 11th hour shopper, and typically offer some really great deals. just as santa is loading up his sleigh. northbound's jane wells is at the mall in california. jane, just how many people are out there. >> 50% off. no self-respecting store is without such a discount today.
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tracking into the weekend suggests it's beginning to look a lot like christmas 2007, says craig johnson of customer growth partners. he tells me sales have decelerated all through december. he now expects only 2.8% sales growth for the holiday. that is the slowest since the end of the recession, and they had a take on this weekend. >> in general people were a little bit flat, a little bit tepid, nervous because there's sti still. >> some are already starting the blame game. they say if this turns out to be a lackluster holiday, it could be due to americans feeling gloomy over this horrible shooting in connecticut, but marshall cohen is saying retailers were having problems long before that tragedy. he says, "the lack of sales is due to the lack of excitement in merchandise and to blame it on this terrible disaster upsets me, and then there's the concern everyone has about debt. people are avoiding it.
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>> we're seeing delinquency rates that are still very low compared to the last ten years. i don't think consumers are going wild this year. >> finally, it's even been slow at saks fifth avenue on fifth avenue in new york city. cnbc producer green took this picture. in saks you could hear a pin drop during a 60% sale going into saturday. now, i was in that very store last week. i have never been in fax fifth avenue during christmas time in manhattan. if that is slow, i would hate to see what busy is, thomas. back to you. >> jane, thanks so much. coming up, mitt romney's son, tag, with some very curious comments about his father's run for president. plus, on the defense. another one of the president's potential cabinet nominees being criticized by republicans and the democrats. we've all had those moments. when you lost the thing you can't believe you lost.
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two firefighters are dead. two others being treated after they were shot. while responding to that fire in upstate new york. the town of webster this morning, the christmas tree fire -- the shooter is also dead. >> severe weather could go across georgia and the florida panhandle tomorrow. we're going to take a closer look at the holiday forecast coming up in the next hour. a big mac and fries isn't your typical holiday meal. >> all in an effort to boost december sales, but the final decision lies in the hands of those franchise owners. santa apparently wearing gps. you can track where he is
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headed, how many presents he has delivered so far, and right now it looks like santa is on his way to new delhi. he is expected to head our way sometime between 9:00 p.m. and midnight. president obama wants chuck naggel to be his next defense secretary. he is looking at a losing battle with members of both parties. hagel, a republican, got a less than -- on "meet the press" on sunday. >> i think it will be a challenging nomination, but the hearings will matter. >> i have to study his record. i'm not going to comment until the president makes the nomination. >> all right. >> joining us me here in new york is deputy political director. dom inco, it's good to have you here. we're hearing from both men
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here, just a small sampling, from "meet the press" over the weekend, that they are hesitant to back hagel. just on the surface without having to, you know, look into his career. >> do not you just love when someone really likes somebody but they don't know if they're going to vote for him. i think with him there is a lot of things that got brought up about things that he has said in the past. about his position on israel and whether or not he would go to war with iran if it came to that. this is what happens when there are people who are pushing back against your nominees, but not an official nominee, and there's no one to back them up. i do think that it could be a difficult hill to climb for him if you are seeing even senators like chuck schumer saying, i don't know, i'll wait and see. nond chuck schumer is in a
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difficult position because he doesn't want to put himself out there and say, yeah, he is a great guy, and then obama pulls his nomination. now, if he went forward, he probably would ask tough questions, but probably support him. >> when we talk about trial balloons, especially in modern day politics, susan rice, trial balloon, you know, a lot of darts thrown at that one, and she, you know, took herself out of the running for that. hagel getting the same type of reaction, and as you point out, the fact that there is this social media component to all of this now. hagel's team kind of went into overdrive of spin, right? his former staff? >> yeah. well, the thing is, like, who is hagel's team? he hasn't been a senator for a while. he has been helping with national security with the president, but, you know, the white house can't really get involved to do that, so these nominees or potential nominees, as they are, really are left hung out to dry unless the president nominates them and then they'll have a team. >> to get the official nod. >> right. >> of course, you know, his former staffers and people who know him well went to try to defend him, but, you know, look,
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all these politicians wind up having their finger in the wind and lindsey graham says, well, i don't know, i like the guy, but the politics are really not that good right now. chuck schumer, well, i'm a friend of israel, and i don't want to be, you know, stuck with this guy, you know, hanging on me, so i'll just wait to let it see how it plays out. >> is there a name behind hagel, though, someone of interest that, you know, might not be considered a trial balloon, but the next name to put out there? >> it's fun where i. susan rice went away, and then all of a sudden john kerry was, oh, it would be a breeze. you know? >> they were trying to get john kerry in the same sentence. we don't like susan rice, but we love john kerry. >> which to me is always funny with who john kerry was and how he became prominent. the fact that john mccain now loves the guy when in the 1970s the two of them would have been on polar opposite sides of the vietnam war. but because they're senators, they're best buds. i bring that up because jack reid who is a senator from rhode island, a lot of people like him, and they know he wants to
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be defense secretary. he is not someone who has been mentioned this time. someone like michelle flornoye who is already at defense and others are more likely. >> great to see you. thanks so much. national rifle association head wayne lap pierre is not backing down. maybe you watched this on i on meet the press" over the weekend when he had a chance to soften his organization's message, and he chose not to. >> if senator feinstein's ban is that going to pass? >> i think that is a phony piece of legislation, and i do not believe it will pass for this reason. it's all not on lies that have been found out. >> nra consultant asa hutchinson, a former republican congressman, is also standing from arguing that there's no need to re-evaluate the nation's gun laws. >> what i will say in terms of further gun control legislation is that that is the wrong part of the debate. i think the focus should be on school safety. >> with me now is karen finney,
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and msnbc political analyst and former dnc communications director as well as joe watkins, a republican strategist and former white house aide to president george h.w. bush. it's great to see both of you today, and, karen, i want to start with you on this because ultimately when we look at who the nra is trying to convince on this message, it is essentially speaking to republicans in congress saying hold your ground. we don't need to do anything on this because it looks as if there was ground already giving way with people like joe manchin coming out and saying this is something that we need to discuss, at least make a logical track at looking at what the problem is. >> right. i think what was happening was that people were recognizing that this is a bigger, smor systemic problem than where i think the republicans are trying to go in their talking points by just focussing on the mental health aspect and just focussing on the school safety aspect. both are things that we should look at, but i can tell you, i worked in new york city public schools, and there are instances
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where they do have police officers in the schools. we know that at columbine there was an armed police officer in the school. that didn't stop what happened. at fort hood, my goodness, that didn't stop what happened. i think part of what's happening here is that wayne la pierre, he and the nra are trying to turn the screws on republicans in congress, but i think they are doing themselves a disservice thankfully for the rest of us and actually helping to make the arguments for the rest of us and for moderates who say, you know what, we do need to take a look at these guns. remember, thomas, last week i said a presented of mine who is redeploying to afghanistan looked at the gun and said that's the gun i care in afghanistan. why does a woman in connecticut have it? >> i want to play, though, what chuck schumer had to say about wayne la pierre's appearance. take a look at this. >> i think is he so extreme and so tone-deaf that he actually helps the cause of us passing sensible gun legislation in the congress. >> the other thing that chuck schumer, joe said on meet the press was it's like talking about lung cancer and how to
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solve lung cancer and not bringing up cigarettes when talking about what could be done differently in the country when it comes to gun control, and the nra wants to say, well, guns aren't the problem in these mass murders. that's not the problem. so in watch this, joe, do you think that wayne la pierre is hurting his own case as senator schumer suggests? >> well, what i wish he had done is i wish that given the fact that it's only been a little more than a week, we lost all those young people and some teachers many newtown, connecticut, that there isn't more talk about comforting the families and being sensitive to what just happened and finding a way to make sure it never happens again. i think the president got it right. it doesn't matter whether he is a democrat or republican. he said there needs to be meaningful action to make sure the tragedies like this don't happen again. i think we need to explore how we do this, how we get there. i think for any parent, whether -- no matter what their political party status is, they want to know that their children are going to be safe in school, that they want to not be put in a position where they have to
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worry about whether or not their kid is going to come home at the end of the day, and i think that's right. they ought to have that -- they ought to have that -- they ought to be able to have that assurance. we've got to figure out if it means talking about gun control and how we keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people that commit these kinds of atrocities, we have to talk about it. whether you are a democrat or a republican, whether you are a gun owner or not, this is go that wed need to talk about for the safety of our kids and to make this country a better place going forward. >> joe, i think it goes without saying, everybody will -- our hearts, everyone, it all goes out to the people of newtown for this tragedy. none of us can really put ourselves to walk a mile in their shoes, especially at this time of year and with everything that's going on, and the fact that you're right. now this is drawn up a national conversation where the media and people alike begin to discuss this using that as the example to maybe change or forward our culture in some ways. as we do talk about the logistical protection aspect of this going into the new year and
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if there is a forward motion on the vice president and his inner agency task force, do you think that there are 60 votes in the senate and 218 votes in the house to try to put forth a modern day assault weapons ban? >> i do because, again, when you saw senator kay bailey hutchison granted, she's leaving the senate, but there are enough people who recognize that at a minimum, this question of, you know, these high-powered magazines and these high-powered assault weapons, we probably don't need them on our streets. thomas, let's not forget. i mean, let's keep in our prayers the two firefighters who were shot, killed earlier today trying to put out a fire, and we don't know all of the details yet of what happened there, but, again, i think this issue of gun violence and looking at what do we know about human behavior in the presence of guns and how do we make sure that responsible gun owners have their second -- we don't curb their second amendment rights, but that we keep our communities safe, we keep our children safe, and that
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we don't let guns get into the hands of people who we know will do others harm. >> you bring up a great point. this happening in webster, new york, today where firefighters lost their lives. others injured trying to put out a fire. one thing i want to skwich gears on while i have you here is tag romney's most recent statements to the boston globe. i just want to read these just to get on the record with this. in this article he said about his dad, "he wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. had he no desire to run. if he could have found someone else to take his place, he would have been ecstatic to step aside. joe, what do you make of that statement? i mean, there were other people in the primary. to take his place. >> i think that tag -- >> he wants people to really -- >> you think tag is like angle are if a better christmas gift this year or something? is that what you are trying to
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say? >> i'm somebody who has worked in presidential campaigns. i've worked for the white house. i know how much work it takes. it's more than just a notion. anybody that puts themselves out to serve in that way makes a huge commitment, and i think maybe what he may have meant to say is that his father, if he could have served in other way and had a huge impact on america he would do so, but clearly he did want to be president, i think, and he certainly worked hard to get there. he didn't make it to the finish line, but he gave it a good effort, and i think he -- >> he made it to the finish line. he just didn't win. that's the funny thing. he made it to the finish line. he just didn't win. he crossed the finish line. >> at this point, though, the romney family should just stop talking. let's not talk about free stuff and 47% and he didn't really want it anyway. just stop talking. go enjoy your holidays. they're not doing anybody any service. think about it, if you worked your heart out on the campaign, forget about the donors and the big check, but there are young people that worked really hard. the last thing if you want to hear is if you gave up two years
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of your life working for someone that you believed in and they didn't really want it. that's ridiculous. i don't know what tag thought he was doing, but he should just stop talking, go have some egg nog. i know it will be nonalcoholic, but let it go. >> i don't know if someone had some noneconomic egg nog before that boston globe interview, but i don't know. great to see both of you. merry christmas to you both. >> merry christmas, thomas. >> merry christmas. >> next up a not so loyal christmas for the duke and duchess of cambridge. how they will be spending their holiday. plus, mum is the word. former south carolina governor mark sanford says he plans to run for senator-elect tim scott's house seat. what tim scott is saying about that. details ahead. christmas is almost here and i'm with mitch who's shopping for low prices on last minute gifts. think walmart can help make this the best christmas ever? we'll see? let's go see. xbox rollback -- $179.96. my son's gonna love that. you're gonna play it too. you got me. easybake oven -- rollback -- $39.96! whoo. can't beat that. you're doing great for the last minute.
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diamond hoop earrings -- 68 bucks! what? she's gonna think you shopped for weeks. man -- you're saving my life! you finished your christmas shopping -- that's the total. whoa! see for yourself! shop walmart's low prices for all your last minute christmas gifts. you'll see the difference.
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all right. anyone who owns a dog can tell you that man's best friend is not just a pet, but a member of the family. well, the first family took that to the very next level this year. not only did the first dog, bo,
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grace the cover of the white house christmas card. he also started in his own christmas video. ♪ >> colleen birk is the author of "christmas with the first ladies, the white house decorating tradition from jacquelin kennedy to michelle obama." colleen, it's great to have you here. let's talk about bo because he is certainly a major member of the obama family, and he played a big starring role in christmas this year as we point out from the christmas card to this video. why is bo getting elevated? >> right? everybody loves bo. he made his first appearance in the gingerbread house as an oversized addition to appearanc the jiginger bread house and th the paw print on a card one year and now there are, you know, big sculptures of bo and the video which actually the bushes made the pet video popular first with barney. >> when we talk about bo, though, and appearance at the
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white house, i had friends that went to some partyings this year and there's a life-sized bo to take your picture with. correct? >> exactly. this is so popular and started making children happy visiting the white house and there's bo flakes, special bo ornaments that hang on each of the 54 trees and kids are encouraged to try to find them. it's bo mania at the white house. >> bo, obviously, has a larger platform, especially with social media being so popular now. correct? >> correct. and you can't go wrong when you bring out a picture of your dog any time of the year. >> true. >> approval ratings go up. clinton saw that and bush with barney. >> bo being an interesting first pet. there's the bo replica. >> there's the real bo. >> getting the picture with the replica. he's a portuguese water dog which a lot of people may not be familiar with that style of dog
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in america. but given to them by ted kennedy. right? >> yes. and that sculpture of bo is actually made out of pom-pons and last year it was pipe cleaners. i can't wait to see next year with bo. >> he has to top himself all the time. >> exactly. it's getting harder. >> harder. well, it is quite a treat to see bo being so highly revered at the white house. dogs around the country are rejoicing. >> of course. they have a celebrity dog in the white house. >> great to see you. >> merry christmas. >> and to you, as well. coming up, no delivery, no food. a small group of workers with a unique protest. details ahead in that one. hi, my name is reg nal bell and serving in germany and want to say to my sister, happy holidays and best wishes in norfolk, virginia. everyone loves surprise parties.
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yeah, so last week we had a surprise party for our dear friend, lizzy. surprise! surprise! surprise! surprise! we totally got her! [ male announcer ] when you combine creamy velveeta with zesty rotel tomatoes and green chiles, you'll get a bowl of queso that makes even this get-together better.
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staying silent.
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it's time now for the poly side bar. tim scott says there could be as many as 30 candidates lining up to take his old job in the house of representatives. but he's refusing to comment on the most well-known of them all. former governor mark sanford who vanished for five days back in 2009. his staff said he was hike on the appalachian trail but he was in south america with a mistress who's now his fiancee. a small group of letter carriers staged protests in washington, d.c. this week in an effort to raise awareness about the to posed legislation to reduce delivery days to five and cost 80,000 jobs. the strikers say the jobs could be saved if they refund the pension surplus instead. good news for boston mayor. he was released from the hospital this morning. he was admitted about six weeks ago for a respiratory infection and then suffered complications
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and also diagnosed with type ii diabetes and joked with reporters the government is running well even without him. will the debate over the fiscal cliff take a dramatic turn? a group of moms now fighting for gun control is weighing in on that.
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